Brentford chief Thomas Frank wants to postpone the full round of Premier League matches this weekend to “break the chain” over the current Covid crisis.
Speaking ahead of his team’s trip to Southampton on Saturday, Frank said he had been in contact with the Premier League, as well as other league coaches he said they agreed with.
Frank was told in the middle of the press conference that there were four additional positive cases of Covid-19 inside the Brentford camp, bringing the total number among players and staff at the club to 13.
Brentford’s match with Manchester United on Tuesday was postponed due to the Covid outbreak at the United camp, and Frank feels that drastic measures are needed to ensure the problem does not worsen.
“We think we should postpone the full round of Premier League matches this weekend,” he said Thursday morning.
“Covid cases are going through the roof in all the Premier League clubs, everyone is dealing with it and having problems.
“Postponing this round as well as the Carabao Cup round will give everyone at least a week, four or five days to clean up and do everything on the training ground so that everything is clean and you break the chain.”
Frank believes the decision to halt the weekend’s first-tier matches could be enough to ensure that the packed festive program will be able to go ahead largely as planned.
Frank added: “We fully respect our desire to play and it is important that football continues, that way we can make sure Boxing Day continues, I am 100% sure of that.”
“This variant of Omicron is running like wildfire all over the world and I think we need to do everything we can to protect and avoid it. I think we can do a lot by closing the training grounds for three, four or five days, then he can go again” .
Burnley’s game with Watford has been postponed – with the announcement coming just two and a half hours before the scheduled kick-off time – due to the outbreak in the Hornets side.
Clarett defender Matt Lawton was asked at a press conference on Thursday what he made of Frank’s proposal, saying: “I’m not sure to be honest.
“From my point of view, I just want to play football. I think from a player’s point of view, we want to play – we want to come to the weekend and play the game.” [at Aston Villa on Saturday]Enjoy the noise, that’s what we’ve been practicing
“But obviously the safety of players and fans and things like that is paramount. So I hope the game continues, but I can see why – I suppose if they call it that, you can tell where they came from. I hope we can proceed as safely as possible.” .
Hasenhuttl: Saints ‘100 per cent’ gear up for Brentford
Southampton manager Ralph Hessenhuttl said the club are preparing as usual for Saturday’s match against Brentford at St Mary’s – despite mounting Premier League delays due to the coronavirus.
Hasenhuttl also added that he would feel safe if the match continued as planned.
“We’re 100 percent for the game right now, that’s what we’ve been told,” Hasenhuttl said. Sky Sports News.
“We know the rules from the FA – they told us before the season that you have to have 13 players available, an open training ground and the local government is positive for the game.
“The rest is up to the FA, on a case by case basis, so they will find the decision.”
What games have already been canceled?
Five Premier League matches have been canceled in the span of five days so far, but a series of matches in other competitions have been postponed.
Tottenham vs Rennes match Thursday 9 December – European Conference League
Brighton vs Tottenham Sunday 12th December – English Premier League
Sheffield United vs QPR Monday December 13th – Championship
Brentford vs Man United Tuesday 14th December – English Premier League
Burnley Watford match Wednesday 15 December – English Premier League
Man City and Mainz vs Leicester City Wednesday, December 15 – League Cup
Leicester vs Tottenham Thursday, December 16 – English Premier League
Manchester United vs Brighton Saturday 18 December – English Premier League
QPR vs Swansea Saturday 18th December – Championship
Reading vs Luton Saturday 18th December – Championship
Millwall vs Preston Saturday 18th December – Championship
Coventry vs Stoke Saturday 18th December – Championship
Gillingham vs. Crowe Saturday 18 December – First Division
Crowley vs Oldham Saturday, December 18 – Second Division
Barrow vs Northampton Saturday, December 18 – Second Division
What are the rules for postponing?
The 2021/22 Premier League handbook includes the Covid protocols, and states that the Premier League’s board will “only allow a re-arrangement or postponement of a league match in exceptional circumstances”.
The board is making calls on a case-by-case basis and by directing the Premier League says permission to defer will not be granted if the club has 14 or more players from the squad list available.
Graham Potter has revealed that Brighton have not managed to postpone their trip to Wolverhampton – losing 1-0 – while Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has expressed his “disappointment” at the Premier League’s refusal to postpone his side’s match with Tottenham on Thursday with the club’s agreement with the club. Covid-19 outbreak – 24 hours before the game is finally canceled.
Premier League matches this weekend
- Aston Villa vs Burnley
- Southampton vs Brentford
- Watford vs Crystal Palace
- West Ham vs Norwich
- Leeds vs Arsenal
- Everton vs Leicester
- Wolverhampton vs Chelsea
- Newcastle vs Manchester City
Carabao Cup matches next week
- Brentford vs Chelsea
- Liverpool vs Leicester
- Tottenham vs West Ham